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Dog Suffers Severe Burns, Fights for Life After Colored with Human Hair Dye

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A tiny Maltese suffered severe burns and had to fight for her life when her former family used human hair dye to color her fur.

Hair Dye
Image courtesy Pinellas County Animal Services

Pinellas County Animal Services has an important message for pet parents after they rescued a tiny 5-pound Maltese named Violet from certain death. Violet was so severely burned when her former owners, hoping the match her fur to her name, covered her beautiful white coat in purple human hair dye, that rescuers and veterinarians weren’t sure she’d survive.

Fun colors and funky styles are on trend for humans. But Pinellas County Animal Services urges pet parents to keep those trends for human hair. “Express yourself, but please do not use hair dye intended for humans to express your pet’s style. Let’s all say that together – Do NOT, under any circumstances, use hair color intended for humans on your pets,” they said.

“Chemicals in hair dye are TOXIC causing a wide array of external injury to your pet – possible burns, blindness and because an animal’s first instinct is to lick, it can cause poisoning or internal burns. Just don’t.”

Following the painful hair dye process, Violet was so severely burned that her eyes became swollen shut, she was limp, listless, and fighting to stay alive. After sedating her, veterinarians shaved off the newly dyed fur and discovered the damage was much worse than they had imagined. Her skin began sloughing off. The photos were simply too heartbreaking and graphic to share.

For three months, Violent and her army of rescuers and veterinarians endured pain medication, antibiotics, IV fluids, honey treatments, scab removal, anesthetizing, bandage changes, sleepless nights, worrying, and finally, hope as little Violet began to improve, gain strength, and show her spunky personality once again.

Today, Violet is well on her road to recovery. Nearly healed, she still has tinges of color on parts of her beautiful little body. She’ll always have a unique hairstyle, since extensive burns have destroyed her natural coat. And, she’s been adopted by a fabulous family of groomers that specialize in safely making dogs look and feel their natural best!

“Please take one thing away from Violet’s journey,” Pinellas County Animal Services pleaded. “Only use products specifically meant for pets or you could be putting your pet’s life on the line.”

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